War by Laura Thalassa


🌻 Pestilence (The Four Horsemen, #1) – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Content/Trigger Warnings: Trauma/PTSD, war themes, graphic violence, death, loss of a loved one, grief, decapitation, talk of rape/attempted rape, sexual assault, assault, animal cruelty/death of animals, loss/death of a child, and much more!

“Miriam Elmahdy’s Guide to Staying the Fuck Alive: (1) Bend the rules—but don’t break them. (2) Stick to the truth. (3) Avoid notice. (4) Listen to your instincts. (5) Be brave.”

They came to earth—Pestilence, War, Famine, Death—four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.

Miriam Elmahdy has suffered enough tragedy, enough trauma in her life. Each day is a game of survival and scavenging for anything that is bound to help keep her safe. It also helps to have five rules to make sure you stay safe and make it through the day. Until War descend upon her village and suddenly she becomes his main target. Now she’s thrown into a strange whirlwind of life at War’s camp and he’s suddenly claiming she’s his wife. Now thrown into a new game of survival, how will Miriam pull through all of this blood shed? And more importantly, can War find peace and will love prevail from all the bones and ruin?

Dearest reader, I truly thought I was going to fall in love with this book. It’s with a heavy heart that I have to say I have never been more disappointed, more horrified, more furious than I have with any other romance book. Between my dearest friend (who buddy read this book with me) and myself, I definitely appreciate and liked this book more than her. However, my heart is so heavy because I truly wanted to love this book more than Pestilence.

“Oh man, step one is some asshole claiming you’re his wife, and step two, shit suddenly gets real.”

Year 13 of the Horsemen. After Pestilence fell at the hands of love, War has descended upon the Earth and is here to deliver judgment. His course is set of Jerusalem, New Palestine and that’s where he encounters Miriam. Miriam has lost everyone and everything she cares most about. Now on the day she decides to go out to scavenge for materials and parts, she will face a bigger challenge than she’s ever has to before. Facing off with War, Miriam quickly realizes she’s in over her head and now she’s been taken prisoner. Before long, War is claiming she is his wife and is desperately trying to court her. Only Miriam is having none of that. Miriam does anything she can to say the lives of innocence, but she’s just one person trying to stop the chaos War delivers to mankind.

Once again, it was incredibly easy to fall in love with War. I stated this in Pestilence, but I will stated it again here. If you go into this book knowing who War is, what his purpose is, and know that he has only ever experienced the worst desires of humankind’s hearts then you’ll have no trouble at all falling in love with War. He’s a tall, rippling muscular, olive skinned man with dark hair and wears dark eyeliner. What more could you want?! Oh yeah, he also has the power to raise the dead and I’m living for the necromancy! What I loved most about War was he had never truly experienced the kindness and love of humankind before. He had never witnessed someone who would defy all odds to save others over themselves nor has he ever experienced the softness a human heart can hold. He has only ever found hate and evil intentions in the hearts of the majority of humankind. However, in this book we see War learn about the softness of a human heart, experience love, grow a conscience, and learn what it means to lose something you hold dear to your heart. I really loved his character development and I thought he was a well developed part of this book.

I briefly mentioned necromancy and I have to take a pause to elaborate on why I loved this element so much! One, necromancy is such an underrated power, in my opinion. It’s not often shown in books and I have a little appreciation of necromancy because it’s one of my spouse’s favorite powers. And secondly, I went into this book expecting everything that comes with war. I knew there was going to be graphic content, there would be death and loss, and I knew there was going to be a lot happening. What I wasn’t expecting was necromancy and how the power of necromancy comes into play in this book! I loved that twist and is was one of the most pleasant surprises I encountered in this book.

Also, as a little side tangent, this is a little appreciation that we get some information on Pestilence in this book as well as another cameo of my favorite boy, Thanatos (otherwise known as the horseman, Death). All the blessings and if you can’t picture Thanatos being a sassy, no nonsense kind of guy then I don’t know what you’re doing!

“No,” I say, my eyes meeting his in the near-darkness. “Not love itself.” Everything I’ve ever loved I’ve lost. There’s no beauty in that. “It’s the power of love that I find beautiful.” It can change so many things—For better, or worse.”

Even with a lot of the good and world development this book, I still had issues with this book. In fact, I had a lot more issues with this book than I did with Pestilence. And please, even though I stated the content and trigger warnings at the beginning of this review, please use caution with this book. There is a lot of graphic content and a lot of scenes that had affected my mental health while reading this book. So please make sure you practice self-care before, during, and after reading this and be in the right head space.

The first thing I feel like I have to address is the animal cruelty/death of animals. While I won’t go into too much detail, there is a lot of talk and descriptions of aviaries being set on fire, birds being harmed, and other depictions. As someone who loves birds, is very sentimental about birds, does bird watching, and really appreciates birds and what they stand for, this was content that I didn’t want to read about. I got really emotional, I cried a few times, I had immense anxiety reading about these parts, and it was soul shattering. I never want to read this kind of content ever again.

Now that we’ve cleared that out of the way, Miriam became my first true issue with this book. Before you break out pitch forks and torches, let me explain why she became a problem character. For the first half of this book, I never really had an issue with her actions or how she was treating certain situations. Until the three-quarter mark of this book, The minute she stole Deimos, I knew the way I was going to view Miriam was going to change. Then shortly after that moment, Miriam decided to take War’s own sword and try to kill him, with his own weapon, while he was sleeping, unarmed. That was the moment I started reevaluating my view of Miriam and everything thing she had done up to this point. I say this all the time, but I will say it again; I will never, ever support characters who try to do harm to another character who is unarmed or they’re not in a situation that is life threatening. This scene was completely unacceptable and honestly, I wish Miriam’s “punishment” had been more extreme. And I say that due to the fact that War has literally done everything for Miriam. From coming to her rescue, to sparing her life multiple times, to giving her the aviaries, all the way to preventing her from dying; Miriam took all of it for granted. She used sex as a weapon to have pull and sway over War, she used love itself as a weapon to make War go against his purpose/very nature and took it away from him as a form of punishment if he didn’t do as she asked, she undermined War and his men every chance she got, she disobeyed War when he was trying to protect her from getting hurt, and there were plenty more moments than that throughout this entire book. The entire three-quarters of this book is literally Miriam doing all of this or complaining how she shouldn’t care about a horseman of the apocalypse. It was a lot to push through.

My second biggest issue of this book was the length of the book itself. As I mentioned, three-quarters was mostly the same thing happening over and over again. Miriam doing anything and everything to undermine War. However, that’s not the only issue. It takes half of the book before we even see any intimate, sexual action between War and the main heroine. There wasn’t even any sexual tension built that would encourage the reader to continue reading. You could tell there was sexual tension between the main characters, but for the first half of this book it was block after block of nothing happening. Also, the first three-quarters of this mostly camp life or War and his men rushing off to destroy another city. It become really repetitive and aside from isolated incidents that happen in certain locations, it’s the same pattern of camp life, destroy a city, camp life, travel to the next city. It’s very repetitive. We don’t actually see a distinct change in everything until a little bit past the three-quarter mark which introduces a whole new issue.

My last and final issue I had with this book is a spoiler so I will keep this as spoiler free as possible. This issue basically consists of a trope that immensely bothers me especially when it’s thrown into the end of a book. More specifically, it felt like this trope was thrown near the end of the book to help push the story forward and help the wrap up of this book. I honestly felt like this could have been thrown in sooner which could have helped with the length of this book, but it wasn’t and it was really hard to try and push through it. Even more so due to the scene that is very triggering and I will state this now for anyone who it might trigger or effect, that triggering scene consists the death/loss of a child. So beware of that! I’m very thankful I was warned about that scene because even though I knew about it going in, it made me sick to my stomach and it was incredibly hard to finish the end of this book because of that scene. I never want to read that kind of situation again. Ever.

“Loss is a wound that never heals. Never never never. It scabs over, and for a time you can almost forget it’s there, but then something—a smell, a sound, a memory—will split that wound right open, and you’ll be reminded again that you’re not whole. That you’ll never fully be whole again.”

Overall, I did enjoy this book to a certain extent and this was the hardest three stars I ever gave. I truly wanted to love this book more than the first book in this series. However, there was a lot of content that became very problematic for me and sadly, this didn’t even uphold the four stars that I wanted to give. And in all honesty, I’m not sure if I want to finish this series because of the sour taste this book left in my mouth. I really want to read the next two books especially because Death is so far my favorite out of all the horsemen, but I’m really unsure at the moment. If you do find yourself getting into this series, definitely be aware of all the content and trigger warnings, and please, be in the right head space while reading these books.

Buddy read with Kayla from Books and Blends | Her Review ❤️



The Hating Game by Sally Thorne


“I love him so much it’s like a thread piercing me. Punching holes. Dragging through. Stitching love into me. I’ll never be able to untangle myself from this feeling. The color of love is surely this robin’s-egg blue.”

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy is favored by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. She’s sweet, charming, and accommodating to everyone. Well…almost everyone. Joshua Templeman is feared and hated by everyone at Bexley & Gamin especially by Lucy Hutton. Lucy and Josh go at each other like cats and dogs until things begin to change between them. When there’s a big promotion put up for grabs between Lucy and Josh, the tension reaches a climax. Suddenly, hate seems to slowly be burning into like and Lucy isn’t too sure what to make of it.

Yes friends, I finally read The Hating Game! It seems like everyone and their mother has already read this book and I’m now catching up. But I’m so thankful that I finally did pick this book up because I’m head over heels in love with this story! Holy cow, I wish someone would have convinced me to pick this book up sooner rather than later. This is going to be a romance I’m thinking about months down the road. This book it truly that fantastic!

“Books were, and always would be, something a little magic and something to respect.”

Did I mention this book takes place in the heart of a publishing company? Well, it does! What book dragon doesn’t love a good setting where books are made and published? Actually, Bexley & Gamin is a merger between two major publishing companies that came together to prevent themselves from going out of business during hard times.

🌻 Lucy Hutton – Executive assistant to Helene Pascal, the original CEO of Gamin.
🌻 Josh Templeman – Executive assistant to Mr. Bexley, the original CEO of Bexley.

Our two main characters, Lucy and Josh, both work for the two CEOs or should I say co-CEOs of the two companies. They also happen to share a cubical right outside of the offices of their CEOs. Not only are their bosses constantly competing with one another, but there’s a high tension of competition that resides between Josh and Lucy. Constantly trying to be the fastest or trying to assert their dominance in any way they can. But the best part is throughout their day, they play these little games that challenge each other. They go back and forth insulting each other, trying to one-up the other. While they may constantly say how much they hate each other, everyone else seems to have a different idea.

However, everything begins to change when their bosses announce a big promotion and one of them has a pretty good chance at achieving it. During this time, a lot of things slowly come to light. Games ensure, highly intimate moments, and out of all of it; the two of them start to really think about all the years they’ve been together, all the work they’ve done and how much is truly enough, and their true emotions beginning to come to light. That maybe, just maybe, there was never really any hate between the two of them in the first place.

But their dynamic is absolutely fantastic! Half the time I was reading about their banter, I was choking on a drink. They way they go at each other reminds me a lot of the way my spouse and I bicker and banter with one another. It’s so funny and there’s a light energy to the book as a whole. Josh is so witty and snarky and Lucy is so sassy and she has no problem with speaking her mind. Honestly, I loved it and Lucy reminds me so much of myself.

““Truth or Dare,” he says. He always knows the exact right thing to say.
“Coward. Okay, I dare you to eat the entire jar of hot mustard I have in my fridge.”
“I was hoping for a sexy dare.”
“I’ll get you a spoon.”

I really loved Lucy. While I like Josh and he has his own perks, I felt completely connected to Lucy. She’s short, works extremely hard at her job, comes from a family who never had a lot of money, and she’s very caring about those around her. When Lucy threw herself in front of a certain teammate during the paintball scene, the entire time I was thinking “Oh my god, this is me. I would do this and then I would regret it the next day.” There’s also the part where she stands up for Josh and I was instantly reminded of myself because I stand up constantly for my family and friends. It was like I was reading a book about my mirror twin. There were so many moments spot on and I just truly loved Lucy. I could write a list, but I think you can see, I truly adored her character.

Josh on the other hand was a fantastic romantic lead for Lucy. His personality really balanced out Lucy and I really loved that. What stood out to me the most was the confidence Josh radiated in this book, but later on we learned that he has a lot of insecurities and body issues. I loved that we got a flipped script and we finally received a male character who shows those vulnerable sides to the person they care most about. It was absolutely heart warming. And he also said and did a lot of amazing things. I mean, that elevator scene. I’m still swooning and fanning myself!

While I really loved a lot of moments and parts of this book, I can understand why some readers may not like it as much. There’s a wedding date scene and that whole entire scene becomes very obvious and predictable. A lot through that part I felt a lot of high levels of anxiety because as the reader we can see the direction it’s heading, even though Lucy was unaware and everyone else was acting completely ignorant about the whole thing. I wish the matter had been addressed sooner because I think it’ll cause a lot of readers unnecessary anxiety.

The other thing I think a lot of readers will have issues with is Lucy constantly having issues with taller people and the book having a lot of emphasis on Lucy’s height. Now, I think the height emphasis was a little unnecessary, I can understand why Lucy would have issues with taller partners. I’m 4’11 and my spouse is 6’6 so we have a big height difference going on so I can understand the weariness. And to be honest, I’ve had my fair share of concerns with taller partners in the past and most of those issues have to do with a lot of “man-handling”. While I don’t want to get into details about that, I do understand Lucy and a bit of her panic when it comes to the idea of a taller partner. I definitely think this will be an issue for some readers just because of all the emphasis that gets placed on height and size. So that will definitely be something to be aware of.

“All I want to do is kiss you until I fall asleep. I want to slide in between your sheets, and find out what goes on inside your head, and underneath your clothes. I want to make a fool of myself over you.”

Overall, I definitely enjoyed this book. I think it might actually be one of my favorite reads of the year so far. The only true complaint I have is the cover feels underwhelming and I definitely would have liked a little more spice. But every ounce of hype you’ve heard about this book is true. I didn’t know if I was going to love this book going into it and I’m so happy that I fell in love with it! It was heartwarming, hilarious, and just something I desperately needed to read. What a captivating story, I’m completely hooked for Sally Thorne now!



Pestilence (The Four Horseman, #1) Laura Thalassa


Content/Trigger Warnings: Death/murder, graphic death/violence, talk of rape, scenes of physical abuse/torture, scene of severe animal abuse/cruelty, trauma/PTSD, sexual scenes, manipulation

“Love is the greatest gift we can give or receive”

They came to earth—Pestilence, War, Famine, Death—four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.

Sara Burns is ready to give up everything she’s every had in life if it means putting an end to Pestilence. With her shotgun loaded, she’s prepared to take on the horseman alone… to bad no one every told her the angelic horseman can’t be killed. Now she’s his prisoner and he’s prepared to make her suffer for everything she’s done to him. But when you spend so much time with someone, things can change and it’s not just Sara who’s changing, but her feelings are as well. Who knew falling in love with a horseman of the apocalypse would be so hard, but so delicious?

Friends, I have no idea why I waited so long to read this book! It was so incredibly good and I was a puddle for this book. Even if I wanted to read something else, I don’t think I would have been able to pull myself from this book. I’m ready for book two already!

Pestilence takes place in five years of The Four Horsemen of the apocalypse raining holy terror upon the Earth. The first horseman up to wreak havoc is Pestilence. Disease, infection, and plague ripple to the mortals who fall in his path. Sara Burns is your average person except she’s the unlucky firefighter who drew her burnt match to face down Pestilence and stop his reign of terror. She also becomes the unlucky soul to be the first captive by the first horseman, as punishment for her showing no mercy to an angelic devil. But as the unlikely pair continue their travels, they both slowly begin to change one another and love and mercy soon becomes a string that keeps them together.

As I read this book, it was incredibly easy to fall in love with Pestilence and what he was meant to do. Sure, he was mean, at times cruel, and had a job to end humankind by spreading plague and disease, but the reality was he has only seen the horrible, unimaginable actions of mortals. He has never known love, compassion, he didn’t know about beauty inside a human’s soul. Pestilence was slowly learning many things that he never once knew about humankind and I can appreciate that throughout this book he was slowly learning and evolving. But honestly, if you go in expecting anything less than Pestilence learning about mortals and becoming more in touch with his humanity… you probably will hate his character with a burning fire of rage. I really loved his character development and even after the first few times, I knew he was a good man even if he had to do this horrible job.

However, our heroine was a completely different story for me. At first, I thought she was just doing what anyone would do if they were taken prisoner. The reality was at 60% of the way through this book she just became the most irritating heroine I have read about. She ends up falling in love with Pestilence, Pestilence for who he is, but at this point where she still can’t understand why Pestilence is still spreading his plague and standing by his mission to end humankind. This is where all my issues start happening and why I ended up giving this book four stars.

“Getting angry at one of the horsemen of the apocalypse for bringing about the end of man is like getting angry at ice for being cold.”

As the reader, we know who and what Pestilence is from the very beginning and so does our main heroine. So my biggest issue was Sara constantly trying to use her love as a way to change Pestilence into the kind of man that she wanted him to be. From my reading standpoint, she was very manipulative with how she would use her love for him and his love for her against him to mold him into a “better man.” Yes, it sucks that he was sent to Earth to destroy humankind, but you don’t use love as a weapon to change someone or even force someone to change. She knew he was from the beginning and she should have been a little more open with loving him. Not to mention, she also fights Pestilence every step of the way in this book. Even when she’s in love with him, she still continues to inflict a great deal of pain to Pestilence. For example, she would find ways to cheapen love that was blooming between them and referred to it as just being “lust.” There were even times in this book where she devalued his feelings and make him feel horrible because they’re suppose to be “enemies.” All of it got old and irritating really fast.

Which brings me to another point. I think a lot of readers will be annoyed with Pestilence because it seems like he gives his love too easily. Not to mention, he was constantly sharing his feelings and thoughts with Sara. However, he is a virgin when he is with Sara and has never known the full extent of what love truly is or feels like until Sara came into his life. So he gives his love very easily, he is overly affectionate, overprotective of her, and wants all of Sara’s attention. And as someone who once had a dating life, this is very accurate of some of the partners I had in the past. I think this can be a hate it or love it type of situation. It personally didn’t bother me, but it might be bothersome for other readers.

“We only get so many minutes alive,” I say. “When you find someone worth spending that time with, you don’t want to share those minutes with anyone else.”

Overall, I truly enjoyed this book. I loved the world building and I loved Pestilence’s character development. It almost felt like I was in the world as I was reading it. However, I definitely think if Sara’s character had developed better, made better choices, and didn’t act so toxic at times, I think I would have given this book five stars. The main heroine was almost the reason why I didn’t want to finish this book because she’s so repetitive, so manipulative, almost borderline mentally abusing the love interest, and in all honesty, Pestilence deserved a better partner to love. I am, however, incredibly excited to read the next book, War. I’m ready, super excited, and I can’t wait to see what book two has in store for us!

Buddy read with Kayla from Books and Blends | Her Review! ❤️



No Judgments (Little Bridge Island, #1) by Meg Cabot


Arc was given by William Morrow via HarperCollinsPublishers in exchange for an honest review

This review is being published before the release date (September 24, 2019)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Toxic relationships, sexual assault, manipulation, alcoholism, animal abuse, death/loss of a loved one, anxiety, trauma/PTSD, substance/drug abuse, talk of fertility issues

A hurricane is the last thing on Bree Beckham’s mind. She’s already escaped one storm, what’s one more to add to the list?! However, she is extremely worried about all the animals that end up abandoned due to the hurricane. And when she finds out many pet owners are going to be cut off from the Little Bridge Island for a while, the lives of innocent animals fall onto Bree’s shoulders. But with so many animals scattered all throughout the island, she’s going to need help – help she reluctantly accepts from the broody, yet devilishly handsome Drew Hartwell, the island’s most notorious heartbreaker or at least according to the rumors. And just when Bree thought thing couldn’t get more complicated, suddenly her true identity is revealed and her remorseful ex shows up out of the blue! The real question is will she be able to weather the storm and find paradise in the end? Only the secrets of this book can tell you…

Friends, this is just the kind of book I needed to pull me from falling into a really bad reading slump! After reading a really good high fantasy book, it’s so easy for me to fall into a reading slump, but the sassy, broody, tension rising contents of this book kept me high on cloud nine! And I kind of love it?! It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been so excited about a romantic read, but this book was so good and it was incredibly hard not to fall in love No Judgments! Now let me tell you all about it!

“I hurried into the kitchen, trying not to freak out over the fact that Drew Hartwell-Drew Hartwell-was in my apartment, shirtless, being nice to my cat.”

No Judgments follows our main character Bree Beckham who is full of sweetness, family complications, and one adorable rescue cat named Gary who thinks the world of her! Oh yeah, there’s just one thing about Bree Beckham…she’s riddled with secrets and everyone is dying to know them. No seriously, there’s more than one skeleton in her closet and only Drew Hartwell can peel back the layers that is Bree Beckham. Drew Hartwell is Mermaid Cafe’s notorious heartbreaker. Some say he’s crazy, others say he’s a playboy, but the truth is a lot more simpler than that. And dogs, lots of dogs! When Drew ends up catching the full on phone call Bree has with her mother, he can only assume she’s a “Fresh Water” or tourist and will soon flee to the safety of the main land. But when the hurricane hits in full force and Bree finds herself in too deep trying to take care of all the abandoned pets on the island, Drew immediately jumps in to help! With both of them working as a team, they’ll not only become a beacon of safety for all the animals, but they’ll soon discover that they’ll slowly becoming each other’s sanctuary.

Honestly, I loved the tension and boiling chemistry between Bree and Drew. They’re both these two stubborn forces coming together and boiling so much sexual tension between them. Some of the time I didn’t know if I should be laughing or clutching my pearls. The banter is so good and as someone who loves reading banter between two characters, I was living for it. It’s definitely one of the many things that really get focused between these two characters. So if you’re not a fan of banter being a big focus of two love interests, it might be a bit bothersome. I do want to add about a moment Drew and Bree shared together though. I loved how the author normalized confining in someone so intimately about the trauma a person can suffer. I don’t find many books that will have a causal scene where the main character talks about the trauma that they’re dealing with. Often times in books, I find a lot of moments when characters talk about they’re trauma it’s very intense, but I loved the way Bree and Drew were slowly and peacefully talking about the things they’ve been through, and the weight they carry on their shoulders every day. But other than that, can I just say this is the animal obsessed romance I have been waiting for?! We rarely get to see a romance between two animal lovers in romance, in smut, in fantasy, books in general rarely give us two animal lovers who turn into love interests. And this has added twenty years onto my life for just that factor. The way Drew and Bree not only feel so passionately about their own pets, but about others could warm even the coldest heart. And watching them to come together and put that love into action, not just for their own pets, but to help others – it’s so wholesome, heartwarming, and it’s one of the key points that bring these two so close together. I will forever screech into the void about how precious they are, the how and why to their relationship developing, and how freaking adorable their pets act towards the other person. It was too cute and you should be prepared for cuteness overload.

“I could feel the heat coming off his body through his damp clothes, heard his breath quicken as our hands touched, and when I looked up, I could see that his gaze was on mine.”

Aside from how much I adored the relationship of Drew and Bree, I was very drawn to Bree’s character. I think for a lot of readers, Bree’s character is going to be a little hard to understand or handle because there are times where she’s overly snappy or abrasive towards Drew. Unfortunately, I think the only way someone reading about her character could truly understand why she acts the way she does towards Drew, it isn’t just for her developing feelings for him. Sadly, that reason is a lot deeper and in my opinion, if you haven’t gone through the kind of trauma that Bree experiences then it might be one of those things that might get overlooked or pushed to the side. And for myself, I was instantly drawn to her character because she reminds me so much of myself. Obviously, the very big secret gets revealed at a certain point in this book, but I definitely think if the reader puts how her trauma plays a key part in everything in this book to the side, a lot of readers are going to be frustrated with her character, might not like her, or think that she’s being immature. I think I’m the odd one out because I found Drew’s character frustrating at times or found myself face-palming because of something Drew did. His character was really hard for me to get into. I think the first time his character impressed me, a little, was with the whole Socks situation. That was the first scene where I felt like I had to give credit where it was due. However, throughout the book it was very hot and cold with my feelings for Drew’s character and his development.

Now the reason why this wasn’t a five star read for me was due to a bunch of little things. For example, it felt like Bree was constantly fighting her mom throughout the book (which she was) and at times it became a bit too much with everything else going on in the book. And then, there was the “Me Too” moment that almost knocked me out of my chair. I had to reread it to make sure I wasn’t misinterpreting things, but there was definitely a “Me Too” moment added into this book and that caused a lot of internally turmoil for me. I don’t want to go into details, but that whole bit dragged me through a loop because I am one of those people who have a lot of mixed feelings about that whole movement. There’s also a lot of animal abuse throughout this book. I won’t go into details, but a lot of it made me cringe. There was also a brief moment where the author used dog breed stereotypes to make the dogs seem aggressive because of their breed. And I also don’t like that in this particular moment the dogs were used as a means to instill fear especially since anyone who is reading this might get a very wrong message and think it’s okay to use dogs in that manner.

However, my biggest issue that really bothered me out of this whole book was near the end of this book and even now I’m still shaking my head at how it was all handled. To prevent myself from going into spoilers, I’m going to keep this as vague as possible. This bit bothered me to know end and I wish I could say I was proud of the main character and how the situation was handled, but I’m not. The whole entire situation changed the entire mood. Even the after events of this one whole scene weren’t able to make me forget what happened in this section because it felt so out of place. Most of this book is very light, fluffy, a fun time, but you get to this part and it’s like a huge mood switch. I feel like this scene could have been written in so many ways and what the author chose…it was very out of place, the situation takes a dark concerning turn, and the whole entire thing felt so unnatural and realistic. In my opinion, physical violence, especially pulling a gun out on someone (no matter if they’ve done good or bad things in their life), should be used as a last resort. Unless the person has physically put their hands on you in that moment, you have no business going into a mode of survival if your life is not in immediate danger. As someone who has gone through extreme trauma in their life and has sat face to face with some of those people who have inflicted that trauma, I have never once found it necessary to put my hands on someone or go to such extreme measures because at the end of the day, no matter how much I wish I could hurt them back or make them suffer, violence is never the answer or a solution. So when that whole scene happened in this book, it felt like I had been hit with a ton of bricks because of all the things that could have been put into this book, it felt like the author went with one of the most extreme actions a person could take in that situation when there was no threat/danger to the main character’s life. Not to mention, in reality, most victims of sexual assault who suffer trauma or PTSD from that particular moment in life usually end up having flashbacks, a build up of anxiety and panic, or they end up flee the scene when they come face to face with with their previous attacker. Also, the main character had every opportunity to turn around and walk away from the situation because she shouldn’t have to face her previous attacker if she’s not ready or evern want to, but instead she chooses to instigate it. So the fact that our main character has a completely sound mind when she follows through with her actions, it’s unrealistic and it’s the most troublesome thing I read out of this whole book. Also, most sexual assault victims only go to such extreme measures if their previous attacker has physically put their hand on them in the current situation. I don’t know if this is how the author thinks someone who has suffered from the trauma of a sexual assault, but let me be the person who has gone through this situation to say this is not realistic or accurate in any form. The fact the author wrote our main character pulling a gun out on an unarmed person who has done nothing in that current moment, it blows my mind away because there is nothing that indicates she has a reason to be doing that or acting that way. I truly wish this scene had been written any other way, but for whatever the reason the author felt this scene was necessary and it kind of ruins the mood for the rest of the ending of the book. It paints the main character in a really bad way and it left a really sour taste in my mouth that I wish I could mind wipe from my memory.

“Whatever the reason, instead of replying, I found myself flinging my arms around his neck, pressing my body against his, and kissing him full on the mouth.”

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It really gives me some nostalgic feels of missing my hometown. I am from a small town and this book definitely reminded me of what it means to have a community come together after a tragedy. But even so, there were many other elements that I loved like the passion and love for animals woven throughout this book. For me, my reading experience was mostly positive because it felt like little pieces of me were woven throughout this book and I loved that. However, that one scene was definitely hard to process and if you have similar values like I do, I think it will be very challenging to get through that one scene. I think many readers are going to enjoy this book, but I can definitely see how many readers may not enjoy this book due to a lot of elements threaded in this book. Either way, I do think this book is worth the read. There’s a lot of warm moments and so many animals! And who doesn’t love animals?!

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.



Snowbound with the Boss (Pregnant by the Boss) by Maureen Child


Content/Trigger Warnings: Death/loss of a loved one, talk of a miscarriage, borderline stalking, anxiety

“all he saw were Kate’s eyes, and he remembered how they looked with firelight dancing in their depths.”

Kate Wells is an independent, strong, confident woman who doesn’t need any distractions in her life. She works hard for everything she has and when her boss comes to shake things up, her walls coming down aren’t the only things shaking things up. Sea Ryan is California surfing, business running, billionaire who never likes to settle. He keeps things loose and is a number one playboy. However, after coming in contact with Kate Wells, Sean is suddenly questioning everything and can’t seem to get this particular lady off his mind. Now these two stubborn and confident people will locks horns as the news of a baby slowly comes to light.

Sean Ryan is the man, the boss, the billionaire bachelor every girl wants for themselves. He runs his own gaming company along with his brother and they’re planning on a big convention in Wisconsin for the launch of their most recent game. Enters Kate Wells. Kate Wells is a strong headed woman who runs her own contracting company. She needs to be the one in control, always. When she’s hired by the arrogant Sean Ryan, she’s has to balance doing her job and fighting the undying attraction she has for him. Now all her control is slipping through the cracks. And when a snow storm hits, suddenly, both boss and contractor are face to face with their feelings and things begin to heat up. Snowbound with the Boss is about to make you swoon with the perfect situation and outdoor setting! With these two point of views, readers will see things from both sides of the story!

Honestly, I wish we had received so much more from this book. I guess you could say I have some mixed feelings on how this story-line played out as a whole. For me, it felt too short to compact everything it wanted to do into just the 186 pages that it had. There was also some questionable responses to situations that caught me off guard and made me question some things.

One of my biggest issues with this book is how some of the situations are handled. Without going into too much detail or spoilers, there were two incidents that were extremely questionable on how they were handled. The first issue is when Sean flies back to Wisconsin to track down Kate and when he finds her, in in for the biggest surprise of his life. However, in that whole moment, Kate and Sean reaches a point where Sean grabs a hold of Kate’s arm in the heat of the argument. Now for some readers this might now have been an issue or they might have overlooked it, but for myself, that’s something I noticed and the whole thing made me uneasy. No one, regardless of gender, should be putting their hands on the other person in the middle of a heated argument. It would have been one thing if it was out of concern, but if a person is putting their hands on another person in the middle of an argument, anyone can assume that the argument is going to escalate into something physical, whether that’s fighting or getting being overly aggressive to assert dominance in the situation. Then the fact that after that situation happened; the whole action wasn’t challenged afterwards with her saying “Don’t put your hands on me” or “Never touch me like that again” just didn’t sit well with me. And then the second thing that didn’t sit too well with me is how Kate’s character was treated. Both Sean and Kate have their issues, but the way Kate’s character was treated in a certain situation was really bothersome. For the situation, I understand what the author was trying to do; use grief and loss as a way to explain why Kate is acting the way she is, but how it all played out was poorly executed. The ball is basically dropped that she’s been acting so guarded and paranoid about pregnancy is because her grief has made her form a weird ideology about it being the the baby given to her by her late husband. Once that is dropped, she has a moment of realization and then that’s it. Nothing else after that. I will also say that I thought it was incredibly inappropriate for Sean to have pushed Kate to the point of having a mental breakdown just so she would talk about her grief and her late husband. That entire scene as a whole, from start to beginning, just didn’t sit well with me. I wish both of these scenes had been handled differently or executed a little bit better.

The other thing I really wish this book did was give us a hundred more pages. This book just felt too short and lacking in detail that could have filled for at least another hundred pages. A lot of this book felt rushed and quickly thrown together where there’s key points in this book that could have used more details. I love a quick romance as much as the next reader, but I definitely think this book could have used just a little more to it.

“This was a big storm showing of no signs of ending yet – and she was glad. In fact, she’d never been so happy about being snowed in.”

Aside from those negative points, I really did like the bits of detail that we did receive. For example, I definitely appreciated the steamy moments. I wish we had a little more to them, but you could really appreciate the mood that was set between the two main characters. I also really loved the little details and how big of symbol coffee became for this book. As someone who runs off of coffee, I loved how much a hot cup of coffee meant for some of those moments between the two main characters. And the descriptions of the Wisconsin scenery, it makes me miss New Hampshire so much. It was absolutely perfect. Besides all of that, I have so much love for the fact that we have a gaming company in this book. It’s these little pieces that made me appreciate some of the elements in this book. I wish we had seen more of those because those little pieces will make some readers, like myself, all soft and sappy.

Overall, I think this was an okay read. There’s wasn’t anything too special about this book that made me invested in the characters or the story-line. I think if you’re looking for a quick romance to fly through then this will be a book you might enjoy. I definitely think if you go in wanting a good time then you’re definitely going to be disappointed just because there’s maybe three steamy scenes in this book and the rest is about the love-hate relationship and pregnancy. However, there are some lovely details that will make you fall in love with Wisconsin or appreciate the little things. I know I certainly enjoyed them and those little bits are the reason this book is a high two stars.